MeredithMay2017

City trying to find a way to keep Robbie Mills Field green

Robbie Mills Field Sign

Robbie Mills Field (Courtesy Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0)

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The green grass of Robbie Mills Field will turn brown this summer, drinking fountains will run dry and portable potties will replace indoor plumbing unless the city finds a way to restore water service to the area.

The baseball venue is home to the Laconia Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

City Manager Scott Myers said the field depended on a water tower that is part of the Laconia State School. A water main servicing that tower is in a deteriorated condition and failed.

Rather than make complicated and expensive repairs, the state opted to tie in to a water main on Route 106, which is close to its property but a good distance from the ball field.

The state is under no contractual obligation to keep the water system operating for the field.

That leaves the city with a couple choices, each of which will costs tens of thousands of dollars, Myers said.

It could run several thousand feet of a trenched, temporary water line to Route 106. It could dig new wells. Significant water pressure will be needed for the oscillating sprinklers at the field.

The city will likely tap a contingency fund to pay for the project. More study is needed before a work plan is drawn up.

"In the summertime, the field gets good activity," Myers said. "Players from all over the country play in that summer league and stay with host families."

One thing is for sure. It won't be much of a field if it doesn't get some water this summer.

"Realistically, we need to do something as the days get warmer," the city manager said. "The idea of a ball field baking in the sun is not good. The field would turn brown and the infield would turn hard."